Pokemon has never just been aboutand making them fight for you. It’s also about meeting new people, and bonding with them, over a shared obsession. That’s why the Pokemon Go Fest, coming to Chicago on July 22, isn’t truly the first real-world Pokemon Go event. At the launch of the game, people organically descended on cities like Sydney, Australia to form their very own.
But it is the first official real-life event — and thus the official place to celebrate Pokemon Go’s one-year anniversary. Yes, it’s true: Pokemon Go will have its first birthday this July.
While it’s not clear if there will be any notable in-game rewards for showing up at Chicago’s Grant Park — right now, developer Niantic is only promising “the chance to meet fellow players and engage in a variety of activities” and “a ton of exciting festivities” depending on which press release you read — Paul Tassi at Forbes makes a solid argument that this probably won’t be where Niantic debuts the first legendary Pokemon.
Niantic says it intends to host additional real-life events globally over the next couple of months, including a “Pikachu Outbreak” event in Yokohama, Japan. If you’d like to attend the Chicago event, tickets will go on sale June 19 at 10 a.m. PT at this website.